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Minnesota is a no-fault state too, but there I sat, one week on a jury in a personal injury traffic case where our task was to determine fault.
Your posts prompted me to do a quick Google search of New York City traffic cases. In that no-fault state, it was interesting to see lists of multimillion-dollar awards won by lawyers for their clients who were injured by trucks in New York City.
You can try this yourself. Do a Google search for "New York City Truck Accident Lawyer." Click some of the links that appear and drill down in those sites. You will find many New York City traffic cases where huge awards were won because the truckers were found to be at fault (negligence, gross negligence).
Just as you are not trying to change my mind, I am not trying to change yours. I am simply sharing with all readers our reasons for staying out of New York City. It is of course up to each one to decide about NYC. And as I said above, I laugh at no one for a decision made either way.
Among investors, there is a range of risk tolerances. Some people cannot sleep at night if their money is not fully invested in FDIC-insured bank CD's. Others can sleep like a baby with all of their money invested in commodity futures that can be wiped out with the next news story. Some people are ignorant of the risks -- sometimes intentionally -- and proceed happily along, and some of those get crushed, never understanding what happened or why. It is the same with liability risk management. Some people think about it a great deal. Others think about it not at all.
Diane and I think about it a great deal. That thinking manifests itself in a well-defined risk management strategy. We have a risk-management plan. It is part of our business plan. It directs our choices and behavior in a way designed to minimize the liability risks we subject ourselves to as truck owner-operators.
That sounds like a lot but it's actually quite simple. Short version: Don't drive where it is illegal to drive. Comply with traffic laws. Make every effort to drive safe at all times. Maintain the truck to keep it in safe operating condition.
Our decision is to stay out of NYC because our truck exceeds the legal limit of 35 feet in the five boroughs. In that crazy-streets environment where people drive on the sidewalks, bicyclists grab onto our liftgate to be towed up the street, jaywalkers on cell phones are met by the hundreds, turns are tight, lanes are narrow, the pace is fast, etc., it just seems better to stay out.
If a personal injury accident developed, the victim, not the person, but the victim, - even if he or she was totally at fault - would immediately answer one of the truck accident lawyer ads that are easily found. And when the law firm discovered that an over-length truck was involved and it did not have a permit to be in the city, they would be rubbing their hands with glee.
Not wanting to be some law firm's jackpot, we avoid situations where the likelihood of that happening is increased.
We have other reasons for staying out of New York City, but minimizing our liability exposure is the main one.
You make several valid points. Let me add to that by saying there liabiltily could also extend to the carrier for 1. dispatching a truck that was over length into NYC, allowing an overlength truck to be leased on that carrier that had a NYS registration & is from the NYC area 3. NYS for allowing such a truck to be registred in such a manner that was based out of NYC.
When I leased with FedEx this was the type of truck I drive is the only truck that they would have qualified to accept into the fleet, yet MORE liabilty.
As you said earlier it's about minimizing risk, & risk management. This is why I carry a large amount of commercial truck insurance, & most larger companies will carry larger policies if a scenerio happens that you are describing does happen the parties invloved are covered. I'm more than comfortable with the business decsions I have made regarding my business model.
My point being that a good lawyer on the insurance compay side can shoot down most if not all these claims. & considering that Federal DOT regs state that straight truck length is 40ft it can be argued that federal regs supercede local laws & regulations.
Minny is a no fault state, it's defined as a Quantitative threshold state, where NYS is defined as a Qualitative threshold state. Similar, but both have subtle diffrences.
If I was on the outside looking in such as Phil & Diane I would most likely feel the same way that they do. We as drivers have shared our own experiances good & bad about travelig into various states & city's . My point being NYC isn't as bad as many people make it out to be.